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The story of Purim is found in the Book of Esther, one of the books in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Bible. It is set in the land of Persia (current day Iran) at the time when Ahashverosh was king. King Ahashverosh held a banquet in the capital city of Shushan and ordered his queen, Vashti, to come and dance before his guests. She refused to appear and lost her royal position.
In the Book of Esther, we read that Purim is a time for "feasting and merrymaking," as well as for "sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor" (Esther 9:22).
Traditionally, mishloach manot (the traditional sending of food on Purim) are two food items (from different food groups) sent to at least two friends. On the hunt for creative ideas? Here are a few ideas to try.
Purim is a festival of joy and celebration but unfortunately one of a lot of waste, too. There are many ways that we can enjoy our holiday in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Leket Israel, Israel's National Food Bank and leading food rescue network, recommends the following tips for a more eco-friendly Purim.
Here are a few simple ways to give matanot l’evyonim (gifts to the poor) on Purim, and some other ways to to honor the social justice themes of the holiday.
Get involved with the megillah by making one, acting out the story with homemade puppets, and taking a whack at a villainous Haman piñata.
Nate and his classmates are working on their Purim costumes. All the boys in his class are planning to wear superhero costumes, but Nate loves aliens and would like to dress as an alien. Reluctantly, Nate decides to dress like the other boys as a superhero -- until one of his dads reminds Nate of the Purim story.